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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Just added: Jackson Browne/Leslie Mendelson, City & Colour, Dizzy, Thom Artway, Cold War Kids

Jackson Browne teams up with New York singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson on "Human Touch." The beautiful duet was recorded for the closing credits of a documentary, "5B," about San Francisco hospital workers coping with the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Billboard has a good article explaining how Browne, Mendelson and her regular collaborator, Steve McEwan, worked together on the song. Browne told the magazine he hopes to write more with Mendelson and McEwan in the future.

City and Colour is prepping an album for release this fall and recently released a single called "Strangers." Frontman Dallas Green says the song "is about how you will never truly know another human being. ... You'll never really understand what it's like to be inside someone else's brain or heart. So, we need to appreciate the differences. If we do, maybe we can live better with one another." Green expands C&C's sound on this track, with "fuzzy, reverberating electric guitars and weighty percussion" that "fit a more stadium-rock-ready mold," as Paste Magazine puts it.

Green's Ontario neighbors Dizzy have just released an EP, Heavy/Twist, consisting of two new songs and some alternate mixes. It's a follow-up to last year's debut LP, Baby Teeth. Our pick for the New Music bin is "Twist." Lead vocalist Katie Munshaw says the track "marks the first time we’ve had the confidence to fully self-produce our music. We decided to give the song more of an analog sound than Baby Teeth by including live drums and piano." The lyric, she says, is "about the hold someone can have over you even after they’ve left your life."

We jump to Europe - specifically, the Czech Republic - to bring you a new single from singer-songwriter Thom Artway. "Chasing the Wires" is a duet with Czech singer Lenny. It's from Artway's new album, All I Know, the follow-up to a 2016 debut LP that won awards in his home country. The lyric tells of a couple wanting, but struggling, to connect: "We share the same desire / but feel so far apart."

California's Cold War Kids bring a blue-eyed-funk sound to "Complainer," a new single ahead of a forthcoming album called New Age Norms. It's a critique of someone who's all talk and little action. "You got big plans but you never take a chance," Nathan Willett sings, and later: "You say you want to change this world / Well, do you really believe in magic? / But you can only change yourself / Don't sit around and complain about it."

Saturday, July 6, 2019

New tunes from Jacobs Run, Tyler Boone, Low Life Lolas, Lenny Bull and *repeat repeat

This week in our New Music bin: repeat appearances by four bands, and the first by a band with a name that repeats. (Our notes are brief this time because we're kinda in vacation mode.)

We were introduced to Melbourne trio Jacobs Run about two years ago, but it's been a while since we've had a new track to add. Now comes the single "Superman," a solid alt-rock song on the familiar theme of an "ordinary man" striving to be super for the one he loves.

Charlston-via-Nashville singer-songwriter-guitarist Tyler Boone has been in our big mix for a few years, and we've noted the wide variety of styles - rock, blues, country-tinged ballads - in his repertoire. On "Jealousy," from his latest EP, his subdued, reverb'ed vocal contrasts with angry-sounding guitar and drums.

Toronto indie band Low Life Lolas made their debut on our playlist a couple of months ago with "Darling I Won't Ask." Now we're featuring another track from their debut EP, Wolves, called "Under My Skin."

We're also pulling out another cut from Sharp Teeth, the solo debut of Toronto-based Lenny Bull. She and her band continue to remind us of early Pretenders on "Turn Me On."

And it's back to Nashville for *repeat repeat and "Hi, I'm Waiting." This bouncy, summery tune is from the third album, Glazed, by the project of husband and wife Jared Corder (vocals, guitar) and Kristyn Corder (keyboards, vocals). AllMusic describes their sound as "surfy garage pop ... equal parts ebullience and grit."